Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Music's Biggest Night- Grammy Awards 2011

I'm not going to go through every artist's performance, nominations or awards in this blog posting. I'm also not going to try to explain the difference between "Album of the Year" and "Record of the Year." However, I am going to tell you my views on the one performance I feel was over promised and under delivered, and my two favorite performances of the night. I'm trying to keep this short and sweet but would love to hear your comments about Music's Biggest Night. Feel free to comment on who you think were best and worst dressed. Don't even get me started on the outfits...

Lady Gaga showed up in an egg that apparently she had been incubating in for 72 hours. I was expecting great things from her. While I enjoyed her performance, I wasn't blown away. I like her newest single "Born This Way" despite the critiques saying that it sounds like Madonna's song. I can definitely understand the comparison to Madonna so I thought it was funny that in her acceptance speech she mentioned envisioning Whitney Houston when she was recording it. Whitney, no. Madonna, definitely. I'm not saying I don't think she deserved that award, I absolutely do. I'm saying that she didn't "wow" me as I was anticipating. I love Lady Gaga and her crazy, wacky performance art. I think the reason why I was disappointed in this Grammy performance was because she wasn't as "out there" as I had imagined. She was rather tame and I wasn't ready for it. Can't wait to see what she does next year.

"Last year she had an outfit of meat, this year she showed up in an egg....she is 'this' close away from being a Denny's grand slam breakfast!"- Courtesy of Click 98.9

As far as my favorite performances, Bruno Mars takes the cake. I thought Bruno Mars did a fabulous job. I loved the black and white theme and the way that he completely changed the song "Grenade." The sound was so fresh and his performance was just fun. Not to mention the other performers in the sequence, Janelle Monae and B.O.B., were also outstanding. I thought the performance was original, fresh and fun. I loved watching Bruno play keys, then sing and then play drums. He's a triple threat!

Runner up has got to be "Forget You" performed by Cee Lo Green and Gwyneth Paltrow. Only Cee Lo Green could dress up as a colorful chicken and make it look good. It just fits him. Gwenyth, stunning as always, wore all black with extremely high pumps and pink feather earrings for a splash of color. Man, that woman can sing! The reason why this performance was one of my favorites has got to be the puppets! The back up singers and the rest of the band were all puppets. Cee Lo stepped out of the box with this performance. Even though the puppets have absolutely nothing to do with the song, the originality and the spunk kept me entertained through the whole performance.

What were your favorite Grammy moments? What were your least favorite Grammy moments?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Music Is My Therapy

I feel like I have a therapist with me 24/7 because I can crank up the radio, turn on my iPod, log in to Pandora or listen to music on my phone anytime of day. I can't imagine going a day without music. I've always felt that music has healing powers but I decided to discuss it today because a well known non-profit (that I found out about through musicians wearing their merchandise and by going to shows) tweeted about this very subject.

To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) is "a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide." The line in the blog that particularly caught my attention is "We believe music can help us find words when we feel there are none, and support us when we feel alone." You can check out the rest of the blog, and music selection at www.twloha.com or follow them on twitter @TWLOHA.

Sometimes I wonder if music controls my mood or if my mood controls the music I listen to. Really, it's a parody of the whole "chicken or the egg" question. Personally, I think it's a bit of both.

I'm about to let you in on a nerdy secret, but here it goes... I have play lists on my iPod called "Heart Broken" and "Girl Power!" When things go wrong in a relationship I allow myself to listen to the "Heart Broken" play list, but only for a week. I don't let myself listen to the music that keeps me in my wallowing state for long. Instead, I move on to my "Girl Power" play list which helps to get me out of my slump (and out of the ice cream bucket) and on to bigger and better things. It gives me the confidence and the boost I need, in order to realize it's not the end of the world.

With Valentine's Day approaching, I don't want to be heart broken, I want to feel powerful. Below are some songs off my list, along with their powerful lyrics.

Top picks on my "Girl Power" list:

Reba McEntire- Strange
"Strange. Talk about luck I woke up and the sun was shining. Strange. I ought to be in bed with my head in the pillow crying over us, but I ain't, ain't love strange?"

Jo Dee Messina- My Give a Damn's Busted
"I really wanna care. I wanna feel something. Let me dig a little deeper. No, sorry. Nothing."

Emerson Drive- Running Back to You
"And I know that giving in is easier than starting over again but don't expect to hear me call your name...Don't ask me where we went wrong, you were weak, baby, now I must be strong...I won't come running on back to you."

Finally, my absolute favorite song out right now is "A Little Bit Stronger" by Sarah Evans. It was also sung by Leighton Meester in the film "Country Strong" starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw. If I added my favorite lyrics from this song I would be copying and pasting the whole thing. I promise you won't be sorry if you watch it on YouTube.

Maybe you'll even get a little bit stronger...

What songs would you put on your "Girl Power" list? What song puts you in a good mood every time you hear it?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

General Admission Grumbles

It always amazes me when there are children and families on the General Admission floor for concerts that have the option to buy seated tickets. The parents seem to think that it is safe on the floor and that everyone will keep at least a one-foot bubble around them (yeah right). Once the bands start, they figure out that is not the case.

I can't count the times I've heard "we were here first" or "you're crushing my son/daughter." If it's me they are talking to (because I've already been pushed up against the people in front of me), I tell them if they don't want to get squished then they shouldn't be on the floor. If it is someone else they are talking to, I usually roll my eyes and say to the people I'm with, "have they ever been to a concert before?" I just don't get it. I realize Nickelback and Shinedown have big radio hits, but honestly, have you heard the rest of the songs on the album that aren't on the radio? Nickelback is really not an all-ages show.

Sure enough the kids get squished and eventually move to the back or leave the floor altogether. The parents always put up a fight until they figure out that they are the minority. It doesn't matter that you paid the same, were there first, or saved that spot. If you are on the floor at a rock show, you're going to get squished. Period.

Another thing I love to see at shows (because it makes me laugh), are the pretty girls who insist on wearing high-heels or flip flops. Really? Again, have you ever been to a show before? I can see wearing high heels at a bar show or even a 21+ show in an intimate venue (a totally different dynamic when people are trying to hold drinks in their hand), but a rock show at the Tacoma Dome is just not the right time or place.

Basically, I have no problem with people who want to wear high-heels, flip flops or bring their kids to see a show (that's how more concert addicts are born), but just make sure your attire and audience fit the show. And if they don't, then by all means get off the floor. The view is still good from the seats.

Don't even get me started on mosh pit etiquette. Let's save that subject for a different day.

Now, go rock your socks off by listening to an up and coming indie band called the Local Natives. Their album Gorilla Manor is excellent. Their live show is even better.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Introducing the Mouse and the Music

Hi there! I know you have all read the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" when you were little. If you haven't, the gist is that the mouse starts off getting a cookie. Once he has the cookie, he wants a glass of milk and then a napkin and then a bunch of other things all because he had the cookie. In the end, something triggers him to think about having a glass of milk, so of course he wants a cookie to go with it. In turn, the cycle starts all over again. In fact, the author Laura Numeroff went through a similar cycle herself. After "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" hit the shelves, she went on to write "If You Give a Pig a Pancake," "If You Give a Moose a Muffin" and other books along the same story line.

I have discovered lately (or been told rather), I am the mouse. Instead of cookies starting this whole cycle of events, for me, it's music. I listen to music, fall in love with a song and then a whole slew of other events follow such as: buying the music, impatiently waiting for tour dates to be announced, getting tickets for the show and buying merchandise at the show. Also, while I'm at a concert, I usually hear a new band I like and the process starts all over again. Not only does the cycle start over with a new band or artist but my obsession continues with the original artist. This results in me seeing way too many shows for the same artist and being introduced to more bands that start the sequence again.

So you see, I am the epitome of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie".